ANYBODY ELSE STILL HYPED ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT?!
OF COURSE YOU ARE!
As a vastly-improved team, the expectation is that they’re supposed to beat up on the teams who have always been the bottom-feeders of the division. It was huge for the Bolts to humble the then-undefeated Raiders and remind that that they hadn’t played that tough of a schedule up to this point.
There were plenty of Chargers who showed up and showed out but we could only pick so many to include.
As always, these are the players that either “surged” forward with their play or stayed “static” due to their recent performance.
Let’s get into it.
RB Austin Ekeler
Ekeler and the Chargers’ offense ran the ball with authority all night long. On 15 carries, Ekeler rushed for a career-high 117 yards and a touchdown, averaging a massive 7.8 yards per carry. As always, he also made his presence felt in the receiving game with a touchdown and 28 yards on a trio of catches.
The team’s RB1 showed an immense amount of grit after leaving the game early and returning to put together the performance that he did. Rightfully so, Brandon Staley gave him one of his two game balls for their massive win.
EDGE Joey Bosa
Matched up with Raiders rookie right tackle Alex Leatherwood for most of the night, Bosa did exactly what he should have done: Win. A lot. On a third-and-six early in the first, Bosa whipped Leatherwood with a double-hand swipe and stripped Derek Carr for his third sack of the year. The Raiders recovered the football but it helped cap their second three-and-out in as many drives.
Bosa ended the night with PFF’s highest-overall grade given to a Chargers defender with an elite 90.8. He recorded seven total pressures on the night, bringing his season total to 22, the second-most among all edge rushers in the NFL through four weeks.
TEs Jard Cook, Donald Parham, Stephen Anderson
In a game where the Chargers wide receivers should have been pelted with targets, it was the tight ends who shined the brightest. Cook, Parham, and Anderson were targeted a combined 11 times and caught nine of them for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
Brandon Staley took advantage of their height near the end zone which made for some easy conversions inside the 20. Parham and his 6’8 frame against 5’11 Denzel Perryman? Yes, we’ll take that every day of the week. Anderson’s lone reception — a 34-yarder off a wheel route out of the backfield — was a thing of beauty. It brought the Chargers into the red zone which led to their third and final touchdown of the first half.
This unit coming into their own this early in the season is huge. Their ability to complement the rest of the stars on this offense will truly make this offense unstoppable.
Jared Cook gets a TD from Justin Herbert as Cook faces his old team.— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) October 5, 2021
OG Matt Feiler
Feiler has been a welcomed addition to the offensive line and has been playing well alongside rookie Rashawn Slater on the left side through the team’s first four weeks. While he finished with an 86.9 run blocking grade against the Raiders on Monday night, he also recorded an abysmal 29.1 pass blocking grade. That poor pass block grade was due in part to an odd blown protection call where Feiler completely ignored Raiders defensive tackle Darius Philon and allowed him to go untouched for a sack on Herbert. He also was called for a false start penalty, one of just three flags thrown on the offense all night.
I believe this was just a blip on the radar for Feiler, but in a game where plenty of players stood out for positive reasons, he was one of the lone players you could point at for some negatives.
WRs Mike Williams/Keenan Allen
Following a blazing start for both wideouts through the first three weeks of the season, Allen and Williams were seemingly both non-factors against a team that had a secondary essentially held together by loose string.
With several of their top corners either out for the day or were hurt early in the game, it was expected that both playmakers would see an increase in targets and production as the night went on. However, that wasn’t the case.
Allen still managed to see 11 targets but could only turn them into seven catches for a mere 36 yards. Williams, on the other hand, caught just one of his four targets for 11 yards. That’s quite the drop from his usual seven to eight catches and ~100 yards.
While this may not necessarily be their fault, the result is still concerning nonetheless. Fans, along with Allen and Williams, probably don’t enjoy looking at a dud in the stat sheet even if it’s just one week out of whole season.
I expect both to be utilized much more next week against a stingy Browns defense.